This story picks up in the middle of Season 7, Episode 9. What if the Viking decided that being Bill’s messenger wasn’t going to work for him? It was high time for Sookie to hear some hard truths, and what she chose to do with those truths would determine whether Eric cut ties with her.
This story contains a little dialogue from Season 7, Episode 9 of True Blood (specifically, the scene where Eric asks to speak to Sookie as she leaves Bellefleur’s). It also has echoes from Bill and Eric’s conversation in 7.9, but then it goes in a different direction after that.
Now—to the story!
“The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?”—Edgar Allan Poe
Though I kept my countenance neutral, I listened to Bill with a mixture of amazement and disgust.
Why had I come to see him again? Oh yes—to tell him that he was being unfair to Sookie.
To inform him—in case he was wondering—that he was being an asshole again.
I sighed, and that pissed me off! I’d never been a “sigher” before Sookie Stackhouse entered my life. But now I sighed more than one of those sparkly, animal-eating vampires Pamela insisted upon telling me all about. I held back another sigh; I hardly fucking recognized myself these days.
Now barely listening as Bill droned on, I retreated to my familiar game of comparing the younger vampire to Shaggy on Scooby-Doo. The bad hair, the high level of cluelessness, the dumb luck in staying alive as long as he had, the anti-poker face. Yes—Bill was definitely Shaggy in my mental cataloguing of people. I took a moment to cast the other characters: Jessica as Daphne; Willa as Velma; Jason as Fred; and, of course, Merlotte as the dog. I held in a laugh—and then another goddamned sigh! I was tempted to interrupt Bill and ask him to get his whole “mystery-solving crew” together to figure out what the fuck was up with me!
The biggest mystery of all? Why the fuck did I still give a shit about Sookie Stackhouse? She gave the expression “hot and cold” a new fucking meaning! When it came to me, she was more like “lukewarm or frigid.” In fact, sometimes I thought I was stuck in the film Brokeback Mountain, yelling out the line, “I wish I knew how to quit you!” again and again. Less than a week before, I’d appeared at Bill’s door after being gone for six months, and Sookie had thrown herself into my arms. The looks she’d given me that night had told me that she still had love for me—love that echoed in our fledgling bond.
Oh—my blood had faded from her system, but the bond was still in me and in her. Of course, she couldn’t fucking feel it—and would never be able to feel it if we didn’t exchange two more times. However, I could still feel her emotions when I was close to her—though not as distinctly as I would have with my blood inside of her. No—feeling her now was like hearing the echo of a voice in a canyon.
It was frustrating and wonderful—like the woman herself.
She’d been relieved to see me alive and heartbroken to see me dying. Her emotions for me had been—for lack of a better phrase—”quietly intense.” As always, there had been a kind of understanding between us that had transcended the need for unneeded words.
Without her asking, I willingly put off my revenge against Sarah Newlin to help Sookie save her friends. How could I do otherwise? She cared for them. She feared for them.
And I loved her still.
Of course, less than a week later—when I’d followed the bond to her, hoping she’d spring into my arms again—she’d opened the door in one of Bill’s horrid robes, reeking of his cum and sporting a new bite mark he’d not made the effort to heal. She’d spared 2.5 seconds to be grateful for my continued undead life before she’d begun begging for his.
It had been a humbling moment.
And, had I not smelled his blood in her body again, I would have hated her even more for it.
However, even if she’d not had his blood again, I wouldn’t have stopped loving her. I wondered if anything would ever kill that emotion. Being with Nora hadn’t; getting high on Lilith’s blood hadn’t; almost burning up hadn’t; fucking my way across several continents hadn’t; getting Hep-V hadn’t.
But maybe—if I’d not smelled the new infusion and intrusion of Bill’s blood inside of Sookie—I could have turned around and walked away from her the night before. Instead, I found myself risking Pam’s and my existences to give Bill Compton the Sarah-serum.
And—of course—Sookie couldn’t find it within herself to wait twelve fucking hours for me to do things my way! The careful way. No! She’d had to come to Fangtasia, where she’d proceeded to come inside—despite the fact that several heavily armed men stood between her and me. Come to think of it—I wasn’t surprised; it was typical Sookie Stackhouse behavior.
It was why I loved her and wanted to kill her at the same time.
Maybe Bill was right about one thing: Sookie Stackhouse seemed drawn to him like a moth to a fucking flame! But that didn’t seem to be true when his blood wasn’t newly inside of her body. It was that blood which seemed to lobotomize her.
Gods! Sookie’s blood had fought mine tooth and nail; if anything, my blood inside of her had brought out more of her fire! Of course, I had only myself to blame for that. I loved Sookie’s spirit most of all, so my blood likely amped up “fairy Sookie.” I wondered what it was about Bill’s blood that seemed to take away all of Sookie’s fight—well, except when it came to fighting for him.
The vampire who’d given up fighting!
I’d not been lying when I told Bill that Hep-V’s most insidious symptom was that it caused depression. For an immortal to face mortality all of a sudden was unsettling at best. Of course, I didn’t tell Bill that I was already fucking depressed when I’d caught the disease. But I’d been working my way out of that depression. Travel always helped. I’d visited most of the corners of the world during my thousand years, but I enjoyed visiting them again—to catalogue the changes, to see the evolution.
Yes—I’d been working my way out of the doldrums I’d been in—until I made the mistake of celebrating my newly returned good mood with a couple dozen women in Morocco. And—just like that—my depression had come back in full force, along with the tell-tale spidery veins showing through my skin.
That depression had been why I’d returned to France—to the vineyard I’d bought in remembrance of Sylvie and of my own hubris. I’d wanted to wallow in my misery and recall each of my mistakes in the place of one of my biggest ones.
Sylvie. Part of me still regretted her. And I continued to think of her with a sense of longing, even though I now knew that I’d been enamored with her, rather than in love with her. But I had loved the idea of her—a human who accepted me. I’d been cavalier, to say the least, when I’d told her about the existence of vampires. Would Sylvie have betrayed me by telling others about vampires’ existence? No. But should I have told her? No. I had killed vampires under my own dominion in Area 5 for doing the same. And I’d been given a chance by Nan—a chance to straighten up and fly right. But, stupidly, I’d not taken that chance. I should have glamoured Sylvie and moved on—or, at least, glamoured her to forget that vampires were real. But I’d been a fool—arrogant and careless.
Just as I’d been when I’d contracted Hep-V.
Now I could look back at both of those situations with some perspective. In the first case, Godric had just distanced himself from me—already feeling the life burdens that would eventually lead him to meet the sun. In the second case, I was trying to “forget” Nora, my only remaining touchstone to my maker. In one case, I’d sought a human to use to ignore the pain—Sylvie. In the other case, I’d been rejected by the human who might have helped me to overcome the pain—Sookie.
I kept myself from chuckling. Sylvie and Sookie—each name six letters long, each name beginning and ending with the same letters. It was as if the cosmos was screaming at me to compare them.
But I couldn’t—not really.
Not if I were being honest.
Sylvie had fallen for me within five minutes of my knowing her. She’d been captivated, enamored. I’d never glamoured her, but her “worship” had existed nonetheless. I was mysterious and dangerous. And she’d wanted to be wild and rebellious, though her most rebellious act was sneaking outside at night. Our relationship was uncomplicated—to say the least.
Sookie had not fallen for me quickly. Hell—had she actually fallen for “me” at all? She’d been interested and intrigued, but definitely not enamored or captivated. Nothing had ever been uncomplicated between Sookie and me. And, because she liked being a paradox, she actively rebelled against her own nature, professing the desire to live a “normal” life, when she was anything but normal or dull.
Hell—maybe she liked Compton so much because he was the most boring vampire in fucking existence!
But—then again—blood was always the ultimate truth-teller when it came to vampires. Perhaps Sookie had become obsessed because Bill was obsessed—with her and with his quest to hold onto a flake of his “humanitah.” Or maybe he was just obsessed with being a savior; hell, he’d taken to being a “god” quickly enough.
Even now, he was spouting some shit about needing to die in order to “save” Sookie from herself—to keep her from coming back to him again and again.
I could tell him why she kept coming back! It was his fucking blood calling her to him! Every false prophet, every chicken-shit martyr, and every self-proclaimed savior I’d ever heard of in history needed a worshipper—a witness. Inadvertently or not, Bill had made Sookie into that worshipper because—inadvertently or not—his blood compelled her to be just that.
But Bill was taking things too far this time. And that’s why I’d come to see him. He was ready to die so that he could end his fucked-up martyr story with a bang. I didn’t really care about that. However, Sookie would have to bear the guilt of his death. And I did care about that. She deserved better.
Bill proclaimed that she’d never be able to move on without him, but I could see the truth—even if Bill had on blinders. What Sookie could never move on from would be the guilt of sentencing Bill to his true death.
And—suddenly—I realized that was why Sookie had gone back to Bill: guilt + blood made for one hell of a fucked up cocktail.
Speaking of fucked up, Bill’s diatribe had finally made me reach my limit as he reiterated that Sookie was attracted to the darkness in us, even as he implied that we were attracted only to the light—the Fae—in her.
I wanted to stand up and tell him to shut the fuck up. It wasn’t Sookie’s “light” that had attracted me. It had been her spirit—her fire—and I didn’t care if that came from her Fae or human DNA. And I’d certainly never wanted to steal her fucking light!
I’d wanted Sookie well before I’d tasted her blood. And—even as a fucking amnesiac—I’d taken that blood only when it was offered to me. Oh—I’d wanted it—wanted to drain her dry. I was a fucking vampire, after all! But I’d wanted Sookie more than her blood.
I sighed—yet again. Maybe I had become a sighing sap. But at least I had one thing going for me.
I wasn’t self-delusional; I wasn’t Bill.
I kept my face set at practiced indifference, not quite believing that Bill was trying to convince me to convince Sookie to let him “call upon her.”
Gods! Bill obviously would never—ever—lose his antiquated accent or phraseology.
And—obviously—he thought we were in fucking junior high. And he wanted me to do what? Pass a fucking note in study hall?
Bill said that this would be the last favor he ever asked of me, even as I tried to recall when Bill and I had become buddies who did favors for each other. Oh wait! I remember. NEVER.
And—the way I figured it—I owed Bill nothing. He’d spared me when I had amnesia, so I’d returned to try to save him from his obsession with Lilith’s blood. He’d staked a vampire when I’d had Hep-V, and I’d offered him the fucking cure!
Yes—most of my motivation in doing those altruistic things had been Sookie, but Bill’s motivation had been the same as mine: her. So in my estimation we were square—even-fucking-Steven. More than fucking square—given the fact that he truly was an asshole 99 percent of the fucking time!
Despite his protests that he wasn’t.
Still, I gave him every indication that he would receive his asked-for favor from me. And he would—if Sookie Stackhouse didn’t live up to what I knew she could be.
But I prayed that she would.
And I didn’t fucking pray.
A/N: Hello all. After Episode 9 of Season 7, I had to write something to replace what happened. I just HAD to. Eric told me to. And—as you know—even sitting on his lap causes people to spontaneously combust (Ginger). Who was I to resist the Viking?
Also, I have to give credit for the Billism, “humanitah,” to maithanroisin. And, most importantly, I need to dedicate this story to jc52185. Initially, I was going to have Eric interrupt Bill’s little “speech” and read him the riot act, but jc said this on my blog: “Also, though it would have been great for him [Eric] to jump up and say Bill’s nonsense about the light was not why he loved Sookie, he didn’t have to explain his feelings to Bill. He [Bill] doesn’t need the explanation.” She was right, so I changed directions.
Sephrenia outdid herself on the banner for this story, creating an animated piece! Thank you so much!